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Park People is a national registered charity that helps people activate the power of parks in order to improve quality of life in cities across Canada. We believe that parks that are animated by ongoing community support are powerful spaces that foster meaningful social connections, while strengthening local economies, improving the local environment and supporting mental and physical health. Our original focus was on the City of Toronto and in early 2017 we expanded our work nationally.
We support more than 400 community park groups across the country, bringing them together with city staff, funders, and other partners to host events, plant more trees and gardens, build new park infrastructure, steward volunteers, and transform parks into dynamic community hubs. We also provide training, conduct research, issue reports, and share learnings with a national network of 5,000+ park enthusiasts. Our work has made us Canada’s leading city parks transformation organization.
In 2018 we helped more than 6,000 volunteers across the country animate their local parks, engaged over 50,000 Canadians in dynamic park programming, and distributed hundreds of resources. We place particular emphasis on building capacity within underserved communities, and work with area agencies and residents to reduce barriers to participation and serve diverse audiences. Our key initiatives include:
- Park Friends – provides a suite of supports to communities to help them animate their local parks and enhance quality of life by fostering social connections.
- Walk in the Park – supports walking clubs led for and by seniors in Toronto’s NIA communities.
- Sparking Change – helps residents turns under-used greenspace into vital social infrastructure for Toronto’s low-income neighbourhoods.
- TD Park People Grant Program – a national micro-grant program that helps grassroots volunteer groups develop and implement new park programs.